Feel underpayed? When to stick it out or move on.


Payday is here again, you tear open your check just to see the same numbers you did last week and the weeks before that.

With that the same thoughts from last week creep in……..

“I am so underpayed, what am I doing here?”

stressed male worker covering mouth with hand against gray background

First off let me say that I feel your pain, no one wants to be underpayed for the work they put in.

However there are some things take into account before you go Clark Griswold on your boss this Christmas.

I have been on both sides of the coin

I own a business and manage another. I have seen a ton and can tell you that it is not easy. I can definitely relate to both sides of this equation.

In this article I want to go over a few things that can help you decide and take action if needed to get that pay up where you need it to be.

  • Are you actually underpayed?
  • Is your boss knowingly shorting you?
  • What other benefits do you have ie. healthcare etc.
  • Is your level of responsibility enough to earn what you would like?
  • How to research and have a game plan ready when it’s time to talk to the boss.
  • How to earn more in life.
  • How to move on if needed.

The above are some of the things I hope you take from this article so you can get what and where you deserve.

The first thing here to do is find out what the average pay level is for whatever your position is. Always do your research before making any decisions on the subject.

Why research? Lets go over why it’s important to know your facts before you go storming in.

man using ballpoint pen

Know how to approach this the right way

Imagine you walk into the bosses office all ready and fired up.

“I’m tired of this shit, I don’t make enough.”

“How much do you think the salary of xyz is?” Says the boss.

“Well………I think it’s more than I make.” Says the dumbass that doesn’t have a clue what the answer is.

You have now not only made yourself look like a complete idiot, but you have also blown your chance of ever having your bosses attention on the subject ever again.

You need to think this through before you cry about being underpayed.

Knowledge is power

Make sure you have some idea of what your position is worth and what the average pay should be. If you are doing your job exceptionally and putting in the hours and quality is where it should be letting yourself be underpayed is just plain foolish.

On the other hand, if you are skimping at work and are not producing anything worth a damn all day you do not have the right to complain. You are not underpayed at that point, you are a liability.

You need to look at what you would pay yourself……

You need to be brutally honest with yourself.

You need to have a legit argument.

Way too many times I see people whine and complain about how they are underpayed and their boss is a dick……on and on. However many of these people are lucky to even have a job to begin with, they work at half pace and put in minimal effort. Bottom line ? They are not worth the price they demand.

Are you willing to do what it takes to make more money?

Maybe this will require you working weekends or picking up a few extra shifts a week. If the sound of this made you cringe and whine then I am sorry, you are probably not willing to do what it would take to have your bosses kind of cash.

There are laws to success that all must follow if they want to achieve greatness. There is simply no way around this.

The very first thing to ask yourself when you are tired of feeling underpayed is …..What am I willing to do to get out of this?”

One of the funny things about people is when we want more but don’t need it to survive it’s pretty easy to bullshit ourselves and float around what really needs to be done.

On the other hand tell a man with a wife and two kids that the bank is coming to take his house and his kids won’t eat unless he makes a few hundred more a week and 9 times out of ten that man will show almost super human achievement to stay afloat.

When the ships are burned and it’s do or die……for real, men will do whatever it takes. When it’s something we would like but can go without?

It’s easy to take the high road.

You need to prioritize what you really want out of life.

Stop bullshitting yourself into feeling like a victim. It’s time to really dig in and get it done. If you are happy where you are and find that you don’t need to make more but it would be nice, just keep doing what you are doing and enjoy your life.

Stop bullshitting yourself into thinking someday you will do what it takes to not be underpayed.

I have had people tell me before that they need more money and they do not make enough.

The same people that are asked if they want overtime hours and say no they can’t. They would rather go home and drink a beer on the couch while bullshitting themselves into thinking they work too hard as it is.

Snap out of it ! You are lazy!

These are the words I want to say sometimes. I have had certain friends tell me “Ohh must be nice to have xyz dude.”

My response..? Must be nice to call out a handful of times a month. I bet it’s nice to get home and veg out smoking weed on the couch.

Must be great to show up almost every other day 10 minutes late.

On and On…….The truth is these people live in a world of blame and self pity.

If opportunity is in your face and you turn it down because you are too lazy to work an extra shift the fault is on you. You don’t have the same as your boss because you are not ready to have it.

This is a law of the universe, you must prove that you can handle what you seek first. If it was not so many people would not retain any sort of wealth.

What if you are willing to produce high quality work and put in the hours?

Now we shift gears.

Many people that work their asses off and will stay until the job is done get treated like crap. Many times these people are overworked and underpayed.

This is when knowing what you are really willing to do will help drastically. Perhaps the time for you to move on is approaching.

WAIT! Let’s get Setup properly first. Start to look around for other opportunities and keep your mouth shut.

No one needs to know a damn thing about what we are doing here.

Once the choice is made to move on it will take some time to either find a new job or finally start that business. This is a great thing but consider the following……

Never rush into just giving up a position, instead master it. Use the time while you are planning to make a change to really kill it at work. Pay attention to how things run more, learn as much as you possibly can during this time.

This will set you up for a good transition to that new job because you will be on top of your game, ready to kick ass.

It may also show your present boss what you are really capable of, they might even offer you a raise before you leave to retain you.

Now you have choices, this is where you want to be.

Wrapping up

Being underpayed sucks for sure but it does not have to stay that way. Once you find what you are really willing to do and go for it the money will come.

Is it hard and even uncomfortable at times? You bet your ass, but this is what it takes to climb the latter out of the underpayed pit.

I encourage you to give it 100% at work for the next month or two while keeping your eyes open to new possibilities. Take a genuine look at yourself and determine how much you would pay yourself for the work you provide.

If the answer is honest and you are not making anything close to that number it’s time to step up and have that talk with the boss after some serious research.

If you don’t get any sort of understanding or more cash after talking and putting in 100% percent it’s over.

At this point you either stay and complain or step up bigtime and make it happen.

One thing to remember is sometimes the grass is not greener on the other side, you may realize that the work required in your line of work to make the big money is more than you thought.

When determining if you are underpayed or not also account for any benefits such as healthcare etc…. These come out of the companies pockets and it is not cheap.

Many times I have had people complain about being underpayed when they made the average salary for their position and had top notch healthcare coverage and investment opportunities that other employers do not offer.

It is easy to forget these perks actually cost a ton of money for the business.

Never stay stuck in one spot if you are not happy and underpayed.

If you look at this and take the time to answer some questions and determine that you are indeed on the underpayed for you work bandwagon get the hell off. Make the move needed and go.

Staying somewhere where you are not compensated fairly is toxic, it will cost you mental, financial, and family burdens that will make life miserable.

Going for the move, whether starting a business or going after that new job is the way to go.

You need balls in this world, I would much rather give it 100% and fail than stay with a job where I am underappreciated and underpayed.

Make the choice and own it. Trust yourself, remember the man that says he can’t and the man that says he can……….are both right.

Thanks for reading!


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